Farm Fresh Customs builds a misadventurous supermotard…
Since its introduction in 2005, the Suzuki DR-Z400SM has achieved something of a cult following, a street-legal factory supermoto that’s affordable, bulletproof, and has a strong community and aftermarket support. The DRZ certainly isn’t the lightest, fastest, or sexiest SM on the market, but the word “fun” is perennially attached to the bike. Perhaps Sean MacDonald of Revzilla said it best:
“The Suzuki DR-Z400SM is off the charts on the fun per dollar scale. Despite its low power and budget everything, it constantly pushes me to ride better, harder, and to have more fun, which is more than I can say for a lot of bikes.”
Enter Jai Raymond of South Australia, a family man and shed builder who splits his project time between bikes and racing cars.
“If I was known for anything I would call myself ‘Farm Fresh Customs’ after the Toyota ute I built. I seem to get all my projects from farms!”
This ’07 DR-Z400SM started as Jai’s daily commuter, but his curiosity soon got the better of him — he wanted to know what the DRZ looked like beneath all the plastics.
“So I started to pull it to pieces and scratch my chin, deep in thought, creative juices flowing.”
He enlisted the help of Mike from DKUBUS to fabricate a new subframe, while Gerrard “Gee man” of Adelaide’s Greasers Workshop helped with the lights/wiring and the awesome paint is the work of Moondog. Jai says the finished bike, aptly dubbed “Miss Adventure,” is a hoot in both the city and the hills, and always draws attention.
“People always check it out. I even had an elderly lady stop me in the street, and commented on it and the bikes’ name. She loved it.”
Below, we get the full story on the build from Jai himself, as well as more photos from photographer John Drury.
DR-Z400 Street Tracker / Supermoto: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I do all of my work at home in my shed. Apart from project bikes, I race cars and have a family life plus day job to keep me busy. Builds can take a little while to complete. I do rely on others who specialize in different areas to put pieces on the bikes for me. Seats, exhaust, and fab work is taken to the experts. I have very specific ideas in what I want the final product to look like. These guys are the best in their field and I don’t pretend to do that stuff myself. I was encouraged by a friend of mine to begin customizing my dad’s Honda CB250 Nighthawk and that turned out ok and then I progressed to the Honda CX500. That’s still my favorite bike. I then did a CB450 and a Toyota Lite Stout (yes, a car) and a Yamaha SR250 scrambler. The DRZ was next and I wanted to do something completely different once I got started. If I was known for anything I would call myself “Farm Fresh Customs” after the Toyota ute I built. I seem to get all my projects from farms!
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
The bike was originally a DR-Z400SM, 2007.
• Why was this bike built?
I never intended to build a bike like that. It was my daily commuter, nice and quiet to take to work early in the morning. I had finished another bike and didn’t have a project to do. I started to think about what it would look like without its plastics. So I started to pull it to pieces and scratch my chin, deep in thought, creative juices flowing. I know I am no good at welding so I employed the services of Mike at DKUBUS for his insane welding skills to re-imagine the sub-frame.
The engine was untouched as DRZ’s are super reliable if you leave them alone. Lights, wiring and most of the finishing was done by my good buddy Gerrard (Gee Man) from Greasers Workshop as I was in the midst of changing jobs. His own builds are amazeballs BTW. Pinstripe and paint was done firstly by Reece Lightning and then the focus changed and touched up by Moondog.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I was influenced by some builds I had seen online and thought there was not much like it here in South Australia. I like to do different things that no one else is doing. If there going big, I go small. So I saw a few that I liked so I took inspiration from many places. Gerrard pointed me in the right direction for what was possible and what was not.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
From the front to the rear it’s a shortened front guard, custom header pipe and exhaust by Redline in Adelaide. Headlights are up and down HID lights in the front number plate. The tank is a Yamaha AG bike tank. I loved the utility feel of the indents in the top of the tank. I originally had one with a mini “rack” on it, but this tank was too rusty. The rear sub frame is custom fab by Mike at DKUBUS. I also wanted to have the original rear footpegs mounted so I can take my kids on rides. It’s important to share these things with the family when possible.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
Miss Adventure! Because there is always misadventure to be had.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
The bike is so light and nimble, excellent to commute to the city or to punt through the hills. There’s ample usable power and the crackle and burble on down shift is addictive. People always check it out. I even had an elderly lady stop me in the street, and commented on it and the bikes’ name. She loved it.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I love the artwork done by Moondog in Adelaide. I also love way it handles. It’s so easy to ride and the looks that I get everywhere I go. Even at the traffic lights other bikers want to ask me about it! But the noise it makes is truly addictive.
Words by Jai Raymond
Photographed by John Drury